Soldiers of the Tsar: Army and Society in Russia, 1462-1874
Whether or not today's mighty Soviet war machine has pre-revolutionary roots is a matter for debate among historians. But it is well known that the grand princes of Moscow created a harsh but effective system for mobilizing men for military purposes that lasted for nearly 500 years. This volume explores the military aspects of Russian society and the "service state" from its 15th-century origins until its obsolescence in the age of mass conscription and mechanized warfare. The author examines the complex interplay of military and civilian elements in Russia's administration; the social and economic impact of the armed forces; the way officers and men were recruited and the conditions in which they worked; and the development of opposition to military dominance. Focusing on the human rather than the technical aspects of military history, this book offers a rare picture of the inner life of the armed forces and of the Russian political and social system under the tsars.
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